The NHL held its annual draft lottery, which determines the order in which non-playoff teams will select their draft picks. The Chicago Blackhawks, who came into the night holding the third overall pick, jumped to the top spot and secured the opportunity to select highly-touted prospect Connor Bedard.
While Blackhawks fans were elated by the news, many NHL fans across the league are crying foul, claiming that the NHL is rigged.
NHL fans claim the league rigged the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery after the Chicago Blackhawks win the first overall pick
The draft lottery is designed to give teams with the worst records the best chance of securing the top draft picks. However, the system also allows for the possibility of a team outside of the bottom five to jump to the top spot.
This is exactly what happened in the case of the Blackhawks. They were able to leapfrog both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Anaheim Ducks to secure the first overall pick.
Despite the fact that the draft lottery is a randomized system designed to prevent teams from intentionally losing games in order to secure the top pick, many fans are skeptical of the results. Some are questioning whether the league has manipulated the system to favor certain teams or whether there are other factors at play.
The league has come under fire in the past for perceived biases in the draft lottery system. In 2016, the Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery for the fourth time in six years, leading to accusations that the league was favoring the team. The league has repeatedly denied any allegations of bias or rigging, stating that the lottery is a fair and impartial process.
However, the allegations of rigging persist. Many fans point to the fact that the Blackhawks, a team that was not among the worst-performing teams in the league, were able to jump to the top spot. Some are also questioning whether the league is intentionally trying to boost the profile of certain original six teams or players for the sake of marketing and revenue.
At the end of the day, the NHL draft lottery is a randomized system, and any team has the potential to jump to the top spot. While fans may be skeptical of the results, the league has maintained that the system is fair and impartial. The upcoming draft will be a critical moment for the Blackhawks, who will have the opportunity to select one of the most highly-touted prospects in recent memory in Connor Bedard.